Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Shape Up Your Space with Arabesque Tile

Has your kitchen become too square? Squares and rectangles have always been the go-to back splash shape, and although subway tile is all the rage, is your kitchen becoming too cookie cutter? If so, then its time to think of some fun ways to shape up your kitchen! If this seems to be your design dilemma, check out the trendiest shape in the tile world: Arabesque.
In this traditional kitchen, the arabesque shape adds warmth and soft curves to the space, ultimately creating a focal point above the range as the cool blue tones add a pop of color to an otherwise neutral kitchen.

 Back splashes are an ideal surface to add color and interest to your kitchen. Here, instead of using white glossy subway tile, the designer used a fun arabesque shape for the back splash creating interest while still adhering to the white-on-white kitchen trend. Houzz Blogger, Rachel Grace comments “The arabesque shape allows you to break away from standards like subway tile, while still embracing the look of a regimented, staggered pattern.”

With sharp edges all throughout the kitchen, soft curves are needed for contrast. Most kitchens have rectangular cabinetry, square windows, and square or rectangular flooring. The back splash is the perfect field to add some shapely accents creating interest while serving a purpose.
When using this geometric shape, don’t feel limited to your kitchen. Bathrooms, showers, fireplaces, and even floors are ideal spaces to add an exciting geometric shape. Note the use of the arabesque shape on this fireplace.

This Moroccan figure is making a come back. Moroccan tile is typically noted for complex geometric designs; artisans use mathematical precision to produce masterpieces. Designs rely on symmetry and repetition of complex patterns to cover large areas, such as walls and floors. Houzz Blogger, Karen Egly-Thompson found in her research that “figural representation of living things is not permitted in Islamic art forms, and the arabesque pattern arose as a stylized reference to flowers, vines and other foliage.”

 In this image, glass foil backed tile creates a lux look in this powder room. The reflectivity of the foil paired with the glass adds texture and dimension to this small powder room.
Experiment with the arabesque in your shower as well! As you can see in these images, this geometric shape acts as a bold focal point creating contrast against the light elements in the room.


Arabesque’s unique and traditional shape is both curvy and sharp, making it universally attractive and excitingly geometric. Feeling inspired? Check out our showroom to see how this exciting shape can add interest to your space!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

No Limitations of Design with Wood Look Tiles

Herringbone patterns in two color tones create a fun chevron pattern.
I think we all recognize wood-look tiles as a very popular trend at the moment. But think outside the box with ways to install your wood tile to give it a unique look! Traditionally you would install your wood-looks in a 1/3 random offset pattern to give the appearance of a hardwood floor, but just like any other tile you can combine colors or create a pattern to give your design its' own character.

Using a tile that has a high variation in pattern and tones in one way to give your design more color. Another way to introduce different colors into the space is to pick a tile series that offers a variety of solid color tones. To the right you see a herringbone pattern in contrasting colors in Florida Tile's Natura series that we installed in the H.Winter Tile showroom. The defined color pattern creates a chevron pattern for a fun, modern design. The example of the wall below shows how you can use a more subtle, random color blend adds depth and character on simple accent wall. 

This wall display using Florida Tile's Natura Series is a traditional offset layout with three different color tones creating interest.
If you want to stick to one color to keep the design more uniform or contemporary, maybe you would choose to use a tile that has a more modern flair with less natural wood grain. And just because you generally see wood installed in an offset pattern doesn't mean you can't be a rule breaker. Try a stacked pattern for a bit more modern edge and a simpler pattern. Below you also see images of a basketweave pattern or alternating the direction of the tile to create any style you want.

Go ahead...break the rules of tradition and let us know what you come up with!

Mediterranea Dream - Contemporary Wood-Look Porcelain Tile
Basketweave Pattern

Non-Traditional Pattern with a Wood-Look Porcelain Tile

Install Porcelain Wood-Look Tiles in Alternating Directions for a Unique Style

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Backsplash or Kitchen Jewelry?

Statement pieces are all the rage. A statement piece of jewelry can complete your outfit, jazzing up even the simplest ensemble. Colorful pillows and decorative accents add pops of color in an otherwise monotone room. So you're dressed to the nines and your living room is warm and inviting, but aren't we forgetting about something? Maybe, the room that's referred to as the heart of the home. That's right, your kitchen! I can sum up most of our reader's dream kitchens in three words: white, stainless, and marble. Now that you're imagining a crisp and clean white chef's kitchen, keep in mind that too much white in your kitchen can feel cold, sterile and unwelcoming.

Houzz blogger Jennifer Ott, stated in her article, Cooking with Color “you'll see that most of the kitchens you've been saving to your idea books, while predominantly white, also tend to include natural wood in some way — usually in the form of flooring or furniture, which adds warmth, charm and character." Ott adds, "Make sure your snowy walls, cabinets and counters don't feel cold while you're riding white's popularity peak"

Now don’t get me wrong, I still appreciate white subway tiles and think they can look clean and chic. But I am ready to admit a little color is a welcome change. You see, white makes the perfect backdrop for small dashes of bold color. Read that last part again, White makes the perfect backdrop for small dashes of bold color. Cue the tile guru! Now imagine those basic white kitchens, clean and crisp, yet stark and sterile. Wouldn't the back splash be the perfect place to add some color, warmth or texture? Perhaps jewelry for your kitchen, a statement piece to tie your space all together. Take the following pictures for example, the blue and green back splashes add color and personality to an otherwise boring and monotone space.

In the previous photos, the styles are contemporary; however, in this next photo, a colorful back splash is utilized in a traditional and classic white kitchen adding color and pattern to an otherwise washed out space.

Back splashes are also a great way to add texture and pattern as well as color to your kitchen. In these mosaics, visual interest is added artistically with the use of lines and shapes.
 Now this, is just icing on the cake (remember were still in the kitchen, corny food puns are permitted!) Notice, the colored back splashes expand your color palette while still having the trendy white kitchen. Here, the decorative dishes echo the colors in the back splash, ultimately tying the whole space together.

Colored back splashes are a fun and exciting way to expand your color palette while still having a clean and modern kitchen. Next time you are dreaming of a white kitchen, just remember a colorful back splash can add the perfect finishing touch, just like a fabulous necklace can accentuate any outfit!